|By Nirmal and Lisa
We were up for a breakfast in the ‘palace’ before being on the road about 9 am.
Driving from Patiala to Delhi was a 6 hour drive.
Ram found a very clean ‘toilet’ as they call it in India – they don’t say washroom. We pulled into the parking lot of a little strip mall – looked very modern for what we had seen so far in India. As we got out of the car there were some men dressed in costume dancing and playing drums. They soon coerced Murray into dancing with them – we all had a giggle – but they then demanded a tip from Murray. Welcome to India....
We stopped at a busy roadside dabba. We had some paranthas and chai. It was delicious, a meal for under 500 rupees for all 5 of us. We are getting braver I think – we eat and drink happily after we wipe our cups and cutlery with our ‘wet naps’.
There were lots of villages along the way, small and large towns bustling with people, cows, camels, rickshaws, trucks and buses.
Delhi was a nightmare for traffic, it was 1.5 hours to get from one side of Delhi to the other. It was so busy with carts pulled by cows and Honda racing motorcycles sharing the roads. Ram called the big green buses, the local transportation, as killers. Many people have supposedly been killed by these buses.
We arrived at our b&b, Chotti Havali, late in the afternoon. Surinder, our hostess, who spoke english as if it were her first language, arranged with Ram, now in Hindi, to take us to a mall where the girls (he really means Susan and Lisa) could buy some clothes.
It was Susan and Lisa’s plan to have clothes made when they arrived in India. That, however, didn’t work out so well. They had one outfit made in Amritsar, but it was a bit of a disaster. They have been wearing the same two things (you may have noticed from the pictures) every day since our arrival in India – hence they were a little desperate to find something to wear.
We arrived at a very modern mall. Similar to ones you might find in Vancouver. This particular one had an outside walkway joining two malls together.
We had something to eat in the food fair before the shopping really got started. Lisa and I had Indian fast food and Susan and Murray had a pizza.
We split up. Susan and Lisa had some serious power shopping to do so they went off on their own and Murray and I were left to ourselves.
Murray bought a kurta (Susan called it a dress and seemed quite concerned that he may actually decide to wear it), and I bought a shirt at FabIndia.
So...it’s Lisa now....I had the most frustrating hour and a half I have ever had. I have seen many large Indian women, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out where they shop. I tried the whole mall and could not find any tops that would fit me. I found a couple of things in my size at Marks and Spencers, but they just didn’t do the trick.
I was very tired and very frustrated when I met Nirm and Murray at the ‘meeting’ spot. Susan was in Pantaloons and Murray said she had finally found a couple of items that she was buying. Nirm and I waited and when they didn’t come out I went in to look for them. Susan was purchasing a couple of things and had a young man helping her. She said that he told her they had some things in my size so...I was back trying things on. Well, I finally bought one t-shirt – like that was going to help much.
We finally got out to the van to meet Ram about 20 minutes late. He was worried and was just about to call the b & b.
Back to the b&b to turn in for the night. Tomorrow is going to be a 7:00 am start to Agra.
- Security in the malls in India is tighter than an International Airport. You must go through a metal detector and then the men are frisked out in the open and the women go behind a curtain to be checked. They also check your purses and bags. When you go into a store you must check any bags of purchases already made
- Love our B & B in Delhi – it felt like coming home even though we had only been there one night before
- We are so glad to have Ram – it’s hard to imagine what it would have been like to ‘navigate’ India on our own.